Witta Priester  

Under the Bridge by Witta Priester

June 2020 - Under the Bridge

June 2020 - Witta Priester


About the Image(s)

A while back Georgianne mentioned JULIA ANNA GOSPODAROU, an amazing Black and White fine art photographer. I have looked at her work and read some of her blog posts. (See the link at the bottom.)

Since then, I’ve been looking for a subject to try to achieve an image a bit like hers. A couple of weeks ago I remembered this locale. It’s a bike path under a car bridge on the way to one of my favorite photo spots. I went down there with my Lumix 24-400mm little camera, and the light was pretty (see bottom of start photo). Back home, I converted the photo to B&W in Lightroom using one of Adobe’s B&W color profiles, then transformed to straighten and cropped it to make the square image in the start photo. That seemed promising, so I moved forward.

I worked to create a high contrast B&W image, but with some grays. I did most of the work in Photoshop and then tweaked in LR. The objective was to get a moody image that focused attention on selected elements, such as the rail shadows, the lovely light and especially looking down the road. The hardest part was de-emphasizing the sky and the trees at the edges without it looking overly manipulated. The work was mostly about masks and selective darkening, and then some different masks and selective contrast. A couple of weeks later, for this month’s image, I did the work-up anew, starting with the square B&W. I was wanting to do “better”. The two results were definitely different, but in the end I preferred a composite of the two (combined the separate layers at 65%, 35% opacity). This composite was again tweaked in LR to add a bit more tonal contrast and emphasis.

If I try this spot again sometime, I plan to get my DSLR camera and my tripod down there, so I have a sharper “start photo”, and maybe I’ll do some work using luminosity masks…

Please let me know what you think works here, and also what doesn’t. Thanks.

Here’s a link to the inspirational blog.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
16 comments posted

Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
Hi Witta, Julia Anna Gospodarou is indeed amazing. I've been looking at her long exposure architectural photography for some time. One day I want to buy an ND filter so I can try out some of her techniques.

To my eye, your bridge image is really suited to black and white. I like the way there is a symmetry to it, yet the shadows are not symmetrical. For me, there is a little too much black in the foreground so I might use a different crop.   Posted: 06/04/2020 19:30:31
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Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Thanks Bunny! I agree with you. See below for a related photo taken two weeks later.   Posted: 06/19/2020 08:09:06
Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
I love the related photo! What a great spot to photograph.   Posted: 06/19/2020 08:15:07

Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Witta, your image is wonderful in black and white! The lines and the shadows really make this image. I do like Bunny's crop, though dodging those dark areas might have had the same effect. The patterns in the ceiling also contribute to the upper two thirds of the image. Well done!
  Posted: 06/04/2020 19:45:59
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Thanks Georgianne. I hadn't thought about the patterns in the ceiling. See below for a related photo taken two weeks later.   Posted: 06/19/2020 08:13:27

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Congratulations on a fine shot. I am very happy that you shot this empty of people, as I very much like architectural shots with no one in them.   Posted: 06/04/2020 23:36:49
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Stephen, Thanks for visiting the group and your comments on the various photos.
  Posted: 06/10/2020 20:42:05

Cecilia Clark   Cecilia Clark
Witta, My eye is often drawn to this type of image with lots of lines and contrast. I think it works very well in B&W. My suggestion is to exclude the sky rather than darken it. I really like Bunny's crop which makes the bridge with all its texture, lines, shadows, and highlights the focus of the image. I realize that you went for a high-contrast image, but to my eye, the softer contrast allowing more mid-tones makes the image shine.   Posted: 06/12/2020 18:11:10
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
See below for a related photo...   Posted: 06/19/2020 08:07:12

Connie Reinhart   Connie Reinhart
This is a perfect subject for B&W. I do like Bunny's crop. You have many possibilities here since it is close to home. A subject at the far end in flowing white garb. A person in dark clothing walking a white dog (the dog in the shadow). You can have great fun here. The time of day is perfect with the shadow precisely bisecting the walkway.   Posted: 06/17/2020 17:04:17
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Connie, I love the way you think. A model with a flowing gown or a dog would definitely make this more interesting. Maybe I'll try to composite one in...
As for the time of day, I lucked out here. I went back a couple of weeks later and the morning sun had moved quit a bit...   Posted: 06/19/2020 08:05:45
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Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
I like this one even better, though both are excellent!   Posted: 06/19/2020 20:43:38
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
And here's one with Connie's white dog...   Posted: 06/19/2020 21:34:14
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Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Connie, here's a white dog image (above)... It's funny, I went for a walk today and what do I find but a cute white dog...   Posted: 06/19/2020 21:35:19
Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
I find the dog distracting. The subject before was the leading lines toward the end of the tunnel. Now there are 2 subjects.   Posted: 06/20/2020 02:50:34

Mary Hinsen   Mary Hinsen
Hi Witta, I love your interpretation in black and white. It suits the lines and shadows, as everyone has commented previously.
The converging lines cause me to ask what is at the end of the path?
In this respect, your composition is on point for me. It is too far away for me to expect detail, but there is just enough there for me to imagine what it might be.   Posted: 06/19/2020 00:24:15